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India vs South Africa, 5th ODI: MS Dhoni a concern for India? Kris Srikkanth thinks so

India Today logo India Today 13-02-2018
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Former India skipper Kris Srikkanth said MS Dhoni's consistency and strike-rate is a concern for India in ODIs.

Dhoni had recently come under criticism for his inability to accelerate in the death overs during the fourth ODI between India and South Africa. The former skipper made 42 off 43 balls as India finished on 289/5 from 50 overs.

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India were eyeing their first ODI series win South Africa but failed to capitalise on the good start provided by Shikhar Dhawan's centruy and Virat Kohli's fifty. The visitors only managed 59 runs in the last over.

Along with Dhoni, all-rounder Hardik Pandya also came under criticism. The Mumbai Indians cricketer scored nine off 17 balls in the fourth ODI.

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"Dhoni failed to accelerate as he has in the recent past (in the fourth ODI)," Srikkanth wrote in his column in the Times of India. "The former captain and Hardik Pandya could not have hoped for a more solid platform to launch an attack and get India to a massive score."

Dhoni's batting prowess has been on the wane steadily over the last few years. His strike rate has seen a gradual decrease since 2015. He boasts of a career strike rate of 88.42 but managed 86.83 in 2015, 80.11 in 2016, 84.73 in 2017 and 82.35 from three innings so far in 2018.

Srikkanth feels India were short by at least 30 runs.

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"You don't end up on 289 in 50 overs after being 206 for two with 15 overs to go. A total in the region of 320 should have been achieved without any trouble," he added.

Srikkanth's concern was not limited to Dhani and Pandya. The former captain also wrote that he's unhappy with opener Rohit Sharma's form.

"The form of Rohit Sharma is a big concern and so is the strike rate and consistency of Dhoni and Pandya. Rohit is too good a player in this format to be missing out, especially in proper batting conditions," wrote Srikkanth.

Chasing a revised target of 202 is 28 overs due to rain, South Africa finished the job in 25.5 overs to win their first ODI in the series.

India and South Africa will now face each other in the fifth ODI at Port Elizabeth. 3-1 up in the six-match series, India are aiming to clinch the series on Tuesday. However, they have lost their all 5 ODIs played at the venue.

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